Thursday, May 21, 2009

METRO Board approves weekend service extension

The METRO Board of Directors approved a measure that will extend METRO’s service hours on Friday night/Saturday morning and Saturday night/Sunday morning until past 2 a.m. The measure was brought before the Board as result of both passenger feedback and input from businesses along the line.

Beginning as early as July 1, METRO will offer its last full trip of the day at 2 a.m. Saturday and Sunday mornings, arriving at the opposite end of the line at 3 p.m. METRO will continue to provide 20-minute service in this extended period.

The estimated fiscal and maintenance impact for extended weekend service is $254,500 annually to the METRO operating budget.

The Board also stipulated that an evaluation of ridership and costs associated with the service extension occur after six months.

Source: Metro Light Rail

Monday, May 18, 2009

Thank you to METRO’s one million+ riders in April

Launch of “One in One Million” contest!

METRO exceeded one million riders in April with 1,044,135 total boardings. “This is a significant milestone for a transit agency,” said METRO CEO Rick Simonetta. “We’re sincerely appreciative of our riders for making light rail a part of their lives.”

To put the spotlight on the millions of METRO riders, today marks the launch of a contest to hear their stories; one will be rewarded.

METRO’s “One in One Million” contest asks passengers to share a positive experience from on board a METRO train or station area. The stories will be posted online in June for the public to enjoy. One entrant will be randomly selected at the end of May to receive behind-the-scenes access of METRO. The winner will also receive 30, all-day transit passes and a gift bag of METRO apparel and other goodies. Visit for the entry form and greater detail.

Also in April, METRO achieved an average weekday ridership of 37,386, average Saturday ridership of 32,720 and average Sunday and holiday ridership of 22,694.

The following chart displays the ridership projections developed during METRO planning, actual ridership averages and the percentage increases over the projections.

Ridership Projection
Average Actual Ridership (Jan. – Apr.)
Percentage Over Projection




METRO will continue to monitor ridership and report new totals on a monthly basis; numbers will be available by the middle of the subsequent month. Boardings by station reports will be available on a quarterly basis.

Source: Metro Light Rail

Monday, May 11, 2009

Arizona State University Commencement and Arizona Dbacks game - METRO May 13, 2009 service plan‏

METRO will run all available trains to service ASU Commencement goers, Arizona Diamondbacks’ fans and light rail commuters on Wednesday, May 13.

While system capacity will be maximized, passengers should expect crowds on board the trains and at METRO park-and-rides and delays.

METRO requests that passengers be patient, plan ahead and give themselves more time to travel to their destination.

ASU attendees

METRO is a convenient way to get to and from Sun Devil Stadium for the commencement ceremony. Below are the details needed for a more informed and smooth roundtrip:

METRO will operate regular service until 6 p.m. All guests have been encouraged by ASU to arrive no later than 5 p.m.; gates open as early as 1:30 p.m.

Westbound passengers coming from the East Valley should de-board at the University Dr./Rural light rail station.

Eastbound passengers coming from the North or West Valley should de-board at the Veterans Way/College light rail station.

Bus shuttles will be provided from these stations to the stadium’s north entrance from 2:30 – 6 p.m. Shuttles are for ticketed passengers only.

Walking is also a viable option. The walk from either station to the entrance is approximately three-fourths of a mile, potentially as quick as waiting for a bus shuttle. ASU volunteers and signage will provide direction to the entrance.

For attendees that arrive at either station after 6 p.m., shuttles to the stadium will no longer be in operation; walking becomes the only option.

From 6 – 9:30 p.m., METRO is prohibited from operating between the Veterans Way/College and University Dr./Rural stations, or in front of Sun Devil Stadium, due to security restrictions. Bus shuttles will provide a temporary bridge between the two stations.

By the end of commencement, METRO will return to regular service. No shuttle service will be provided post-event; however, the stadium’s south entrance will be open.

For more on ASU Commencement, visit

Dbacks attendees

Diamondbacks game attendees planning to use light rail will travel during the peak commencement arrival and departure periods (depending on when the game ends).

METRO encourages fans to allow for more time to get to and leave from Chase Field. More patience will be required unless passengers elect to travel to the game before 3 p.m. and from the game after 10:30 p.m.

For East Valley fans who will ride to the game after 6 p.m., expect a delay as a result of the bus bridge between the University Dr./Rural and Veterans Way/College stations. Passengers will be asked to get off at University/Rural station, board a bus that will transport them to the next station at Veterans/College where they can continue their light rail trip.

Game begins at 6:40 p.m.


Afternoon commuters can expect a regular service level until 6 p.m., but crowds and delays should be assumed.

From 6 – 9:30 p.m., commuters can expect a delay as a result of the bus bridge between the University Dr./Rural and Veterans Way/College stations. Passengers will be asked to get off at either station, board a bus that will transport them to the next station where they can continue their light rail trip.


METRO park-and-ride lots are free to use on a first-come, first-serve basis:

Montebello/19th Avenue
19th Avenue/Camelback
Central Avenue/Camelback
38th Street/Washington
Dorsey Lane/Apache Blvd
McClintock Drive/Apache Blvd
Price 101 Freeway/Apache Blvd
Sycamore/Main Street

If any of the lots become full, please try the next closest park-and-ride. For example, if the park-and-ride at Sycamore/Main St. reaches capacity, try the Price 101 Freeway/Apache Blvd. park-and-ride – it typically has greater availability.

METRO and its city partners have identified overflow parking opportunities along the line for this date only:

Park Central Mall at Earll Dr., west of Central Ave. – designated “retail only parking” spaces

38th St./Washington – east side of 38th St. and the METRO park-and-ride; Gateway Community College parking lot

Price 101 Freeway/Apache – southeast of the METRO park-and-ride, accessible using the same entrance


The peak ridership periods for these events will be from 3 – 7 p.m. and 9 – 11 p.m. Passengers should expect standing room only on board the trains, crowds at the stations and park-and-rides and the potential for waiting for more than one train or bus shuttle.

Event goers should purchase an all-day pass for roundtrip service. An all-day pass eliminates the need to wait in a second line to buy another single ride pass when leaving the event. Platinum Pass/U-Pass users, validate before each ride.

All plans related to ASU Commencement and METRO’s service for this event are subject to change.

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